The most important aspect of Christian homeschooling is the ability to infuse all subjects with a biblical worldview in order to provide a personal and cultural relevancy for the students. This requires a dedication to godliness that must place the love of God (the Great Commandment) above all other issues and concerns in order to have an orientation that pleases the Lord. Another beneficial aspect of the homeschooling experience is the ability for parents to focus on those areas where God has gifted or talented particular children. Whether it is in academics, athletics, the arts, or some combination thereof, special attention and suitable instruction can be tailored for the individual student. This makes the pursuit of excellence all the more possible.
Pursuing excellence and achieving excellence are two different things. For example, in cooking, one can have all the correct ingredients and the recipe still might fail, if any of those ingredients are spoiled or rotten. Likewise, parents need to identify and confront the more subtle areas of sin in their children (spoiled or rotten ingredients) such as pride, ingratitude, impatience, arrogance, selfishness, insubordination, despair, laziness, rage, and blasphemy. Failing to do so may well produce a champion or an expert according to the world's standards, but hardly a suitable or acceptable ambassador for Jesus Christ.
Catechizing and instructing children from a very young age allows for easier times of correction when these attitudes and character flaws manifest themselves. Parents need to be honest with themselves and deal with their own sins in these areas by means of confession and repentance before they tackle them with their child. How blessed we are to be loved and covered by a Savior who knows our infirmities and has already paid the price. Nonetheless, we must be diligent in weeding out those aspects of striving for excellence that are self-centered and self-serving, so that we (along with our children) can fulfill our chief purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].